Residents have campaigned to bring the train back to Murwillumbah.
Residents have campaigned to bring the train back to Murwillumbah.

Democrats promise rail service

THE Australian Democrats have entered the state election campaign in the seats of Tweed and Lismore with a last-minute promise to help bring back the Murwillumbah-Casino train service.

The party has made the late promise as part of its bid for a seat in the Upper House.

Its number one candidate for the upper house, Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Evans, yesterday called for the “introduction of a regional rail service for the Northern Rivers region” and “an end to Sydney-centric infrastructure investment”.

Dr Chesterfield-Evans said there was already precedent for a regional commuter rail service in the form of the Hunter Regional Service to Scone and Dungog.

He said that line provided two services in the morning and another two in the afternoon.

Dr Chesterfield-Evans said a resurrected train service could run from Murwillumbah to Byron and then to Lismore and Casino.

At Casino the regional rail service could connect with the XPT service, and the train would also service the Southern Cross University campus in Lismore.

“There would need to be some rebuilding of bridges,” Dr Chesterfield-Evans said, “but a regional rail service would not require rolling-stock as heavy as the XPT.”

Dr Chesterfield-Evans said even if there was extensive bridge-rebuilding required, citizens within regional NSW were also taxpayers.

“Not all the infrastructure projects should be centred in the Sydney region,” he said.

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